A 2021 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that, without action, the world will undergo 1.5ºC or more of warming by 2040. This is likely to lead to extreme heatwaves, oceans rising, and the destruction of an estimated 70% to 90% of the coral reefs.1
Weather extremes are already evident. Over the past year, unprecedented heatwaves have affected the west coast of North America, while south-eastern Europe, in particular Greece and Italy, experienced its worst ever heatwave in August 2021.1 And, the UK has not been spared extreme temperatures (figure 1). In California’s Death Valley, which is known to be one of the hottest places on the planet, a temperature of 54.4ºC was recorded; the highest in the world since the 1930s.1
Yet despite extreme heatwave events, some parts of the world have experienced some of their coldest winters on record due to disruption of the Earth’s climate. Between April and September 2021, the average temperature in Antarctica was -60.9C, the coldest on record.2, 3
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